Being an introvert in the modern age.

Back in the day there was a time where being an introvert (to others) seemed to be a real concern. There was the dreaded phone call, being freaked out if someone knocked on your door with an unexpected visit, or the horrible impromptu conversation out in public when you were running errands.

Thanks to the stupid invention of social media, smartphones, and tablets, it’s completely changed the world of the introvert. At first I was pleased. No longer did I have to suffer for an hour before deciding whether or not I wanted to order a pizza because it would mean actually talking to a live person on the phone. Gone were the days of face to face conversations where a non immediate response would result in awkward silence. The art of avoiding looking people in the eyes in public was starting to fade. It was mental aloe on my shut-in socially inept brain.

Now that’s been going on well over five years, I’m starting to miss it. If the phone rings, it’s solicitor or bill collector. No one knocks on the door any more because surprise visits are a thing of the past; after putting a “No Solicitors” sign on the door, no one bothers me. People don’t do surprise visits any more, oh no… they’ll give you a heads up via text. Text! What the hell, man? Even then, most people are too occupied finding places to go so they can geo tag it and take selfies. They’re too caught up in social networking appearances to care about anyone else but themselves. How come no one is reaching out to me any more so that I can slap them away??

I go to the store and no longer am I feeling dread from strangers who yearn to converse in a long grocery store line or listen to the bored cashier yammer on about work, the weather, or their experiences with the products that you’re purchasing. The typical scenario now (if there is a line, and more than likely it’s a self check-out line), everyone is on their phone, or looking down at the screen texting away. They’re probably not even texting anyone, they’ve become socially awkward now that they don’t know how to engage with people any more.

I miss being the weird one in society. I miss avoiding people at all cost. I miss it so much that at times I find myself with only a few items, passing up the self check out just so I can get the cashier to engage in conversation; making fun of all the people with ear-buds, looking at the screens. “Introverts… sheesh… am I right??” After I grab my bags and head to my car, I smile and complain, “Another awkward obligatory conversation with a stranger…” When I pretty much know everyone who works there by name and they smile and wave every time I come in, I smile back and nod then I make sure to head straight to the self check out stations once again.

I’m kidding about the store employees. I truly have grown to like and appreciate them. With so many people ignoring each other, it has caused me to feel free to baby-step out of my head and explore the real social interactions off the computer. With so much superficial junk and re-shares, it’s become refreshing to not be so involved in a social media any more. I don’t post for likes or approval. In fact, I post… I delete, or not… I don’t care. I avoid it for days or weeks. I never check FB or my email (who emails any more?) when I’m not at the computer, and even then, it’s secondary to everything else I do online… yes, I’m on the porn hub constantly and trolling political sites 😉 (kidding… or am I?).

I no longer have anxiety attacks being in the company of strangers or worrying about what others think of me and I know they don’t seem to care what I think of them, there’s a hundred strangers who will approve of what ever they do even if I act indifferent. When it comes to interacting in the physical world, I don’t know if it’s because most people are buried in their devices so it’s easier to look around without others locking eyes and trying to engage in uncomfortable conversation, or with age comes comfort with ones self and others. Either way, I now welcome those who aren’t tethered to their phones and who miss living among the humans. Hmmm, or so I think, I haven’t really been able to test it out much.

There are so many more important things going on this world that I can finally see, now that I’m not hiding under my couch cushions hiding from the ringing phone and knocking door.

 

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